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Saudi Arabia Plans Wide-Ranging Entertainment Ecosystem

The global branding and urban planning for Qiddiya City aims to bring in 48 million visitors annually.

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Qiddiya

Qiddiya Investment Company has formed a merger with Saudi Entertainment Ventures (SEVEN) amid plans to comprehensively overhaul the entertainment sector. The new entity aims to construct a comprehensive entertainment ecosystem to further Saudi Arabia’s economic diversification and forge ahead with the construction of the multi-billion dollar Qiddiya project.

Managing director of Qiddiya and chairman of SEVEN Abdullah Aldawood, explained that the merger would “create a new concept of fun and improve the quality of life by building an integrated and unprecedented entertainment ecosystem”.

qiddiya project final plan saudi arabia

SEVEN brings vast experience to the ambitious plans after spearheading the development of 21 entertainment projects spanning 14 Saudi Arabian cities, with total investments exceeding $13 billion.

Among its many achievements, SEVEN was responsible for reintroducing cinemas to the Kingdom after a 35-year hiatus and has secured partnerships with global brands, including Transformers, Play-Doh, Hot Wheels, Clip’ n Climb, Discovery Adventures, and Flow House.

Also Read: Meet JAIS Chat: The AI-Powered Chatbot For Arabic Speakers

Qiddiya was envisioned as a giga-project and slated for a 2022 opening. However, the timeline has now shifted, with the opening of the eagerly anticipated Six Flags and Aqua Arabia theme parks now pushed back to 2025.

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Truecaller To Use Microsoft Azure AI Speech For Call Answering

The new service features a powerful speech generation tool to allow users to create AI versions of their voices.

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truecaller to use microsoft azure ai speech for call answering
Truecaller

Truecaller, a well-known app for identifying and blocking spam calls, is enhancing its services by allowing users to create AI versions of their voices. The new feature, available to those with access to Truecaller’s AI Assistant, stems from a partnership with Microsoft and its Azure AI Speech tool, allowing the generation of realistic AI voices that accurately mimic users’ speech patterns and tone.

“This groundbreaking capability not only adds a touch of familiarity and comfort for the users but also showcases the power of AI in transforming the way we interact with our digital assistants,” explained Truecaller product director and general manager Raphael Mimoun in a recent blog post.

The AI Assistant in Truecaller screens incoming calls, informing recipients of a caller’s purpose. Based on this information, users can decide whether to answer the call themselves or let the AI Assistant handle it.

When the feature was introduced in 2022, users could only choose from a collection of preset voices. The ability to record one’s own voice represents a significant step towards the complete personalization of the service.

Also Read: Getting Started With Google Gemini: A Beginner’s Guide

Azure AI Speech, showcased during the last Build conference, only recently added a personal voice feature that lets people record and replicate voices. Microsoft explained in a blog post, however, that Personal Voice is available on a limited basis and only for specific use cases like voice assistants.

To maintain ethical standards, Microsoft’s Azure AI Speech automatically adds watermarks to AI-generated voices. Additionally, a code of conduct requires companies to obtain full consent from individuals being recorded and prohibits impersonation.

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